Faculty/Staff Detail

María del Pilar File-Muriel

I am a Colombian born activist anthropologist interested in the dynamics of peace building, solidarity, activism, and social change. My dissertation centers on peace practices and the multi-scalar relationships that sustain peace in Colombia. Through my fieldwork practice, I have learned about the internal dynamics of peace activism from Indigenous and Afro-Colombian activists and their allies involved in the construction and maintenance of territories of peace, peace communities, humanitarian zones/spaces. I study peace activism as a cultural-political expression sustained by relationships among communities, grassroots activists, NGOs, and state institutions. I am moved by the opportunities for transnational solidarity and international education grounded on principles of popular education and service. I enjoy cooking cuisine from around the world, baking, and knitting. I get energized by an open water swim and a hike with my husband.


PhD Anthropology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, 2022. 

Master of Public Affairs. School of Public and Environmental Affairs. Indiana University Bloomington, 2007.

Bachelor of Arts in Folklore. Indiana University Bloomington, 2002.


  • Social Movements in Latin America
  • Anthropology of Peace
  • Activist/Engaged Anthropology
  • Indigeneity in Latin America
  • Prejudice and Discrimination
  • US Ethnic Identity and Conflict

Courses taught in Spanish:

  • Etnografía en movimiento (ethnography in movement)
  • Perspectivas de paz en Colombia (peace perspectives in Colombia)
  • Activismo glocal (glocal activism)
  • Interculturalidad y paz (interculturality and peace)


File-Muriel, María del Pilar. (2013). “An Exploration of the Social Effectiveness of Political Kidnapping Testimonios in Colombia.” Journal of Contemporary Anthropology: Vol. 4: Iss. 1, Article 2.


Study Abroad Development Grant (2017), University of New Mexico.

Tinker Foundation / Field Research Grant (2011, 2013) Latin American and Iberian Institute, University of New Mexico.